Hong Kong and democracy

Anthony Sheridan

Hong Kong belongs to the Chinese in exactly the same way as the Isle of Wight belongs to the British.

Here’s how Britain came to own Hong Kong.  In the 19th century the British East Indian Company was making huge profits in the illegal smuggling of drugs [opium] into China. 

This criminal activity did serious damage to the Chinese economy and resulted in widespread drug addiction among the population. 

The Chinese authorities appealed to Queen Victoria to stop the drug trade, she ignored them.  The authorities then offered to allow the merchants to trade in tea in place of opium but this too was rejected.  As a last resort the authorities confiscated supplies of opium and imposed a blockade of foreign ships.

The British responded by going to war.  They defeated the Chinese and in the subsequent peace treaty demanded and were given ownership of Hong Kong.

For the next 150 years Hong Kong was ruled from London through a British appointed governor, there was no democracy under British rule.

Hong Kong citizens were never happy with this lack of democracy and frequently rebelled.  In 1856, for example, when a very limited form of democracy was suggested the Colonial Office rejected the idea on the grounds that:

Chinese residents had no respect for the principles upon which social order rests.

The current Chinese dictatorship holds the exact same anti-democratic view.

Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong before the territory was handed back to the Chinese in 1997, is outraged by this anti-democratic policy. 

Here’s some of what he had to say in a recent article:

The world simply cannot trust this Chinese regime. Liberal democracies and friends of Hong Kong everywhere must make it clear that they will stand up for this great, free and dynamic city.

But Patten’s complaints are futile and hypocritical. 

They are futile because China is now an empire and Britain a mere backwater on the world stage.  They are hypotcritical because the Chinese are not doing anything the British did not do during their occupation of Hong Kong.

And there’s another important point, Hong Kong is geographically and culturally part of China.  Britain, on the other hand is nearly six thousand miles away from its former colony.

Let’s imagine a reversal of history.  Let’s imagine that China was the most powerful empire in the world in the 19th century and went to war with Britain because it was prevented from selling illegal drugs to the British people.  Let’s imagine that after defeat the British were forced to hand over the Isle of Wight to the Chinese.

Fast forward to the present day and the Chinese, having lost their empire, are forced by the British to give the island back. 

How would the British respond if the former Chinese colonists, from six thousand miles away in Beijing, began to lecture London on how they should govern the newly liberated territory.  

I think we know the answer to that.

China agreed to give some political and social autonomy to Hong Kong through a ‘one country, two systems’ policy for a 50 year period. 

That a ruthless communist regime should actually honour that promise for nearly half that period is nothing short of a miracle.  Again, if the situation was reversed, would the UK honour such an agreement, particularly if its political and commercial interests were threatened – highly unlikely.

And it is principally commercial interests that lie behind the, so far, relatively benign response by the Chinese government to events in Hong Kong. The city is an extremely rich capitalist money-making machine and China is fast becoming the most powerful and richest capitalist country in the world. 

The Chinese government want two things, to continue sharing the wealth generated by Hong Kong but, at the same time, exercise total political power over its citizens.  In a word – they want capitalism but not democracy.

And that policy is a carbon-copy of the policy imposed by the British during their undemocratic rule of the territory.

Breaking: The truth behind Melania Trump’s plagiarism



By Anthony Sheridan


There can be only two reasons for the plagiarising of Michelle Obama’s speech by Melania Trump.


The person who wrote it is so stupid he (all the suspects are male) didn’t have the intelligence to realise it would be instantly found out given the widespread availability of modern technology in the hands of political heads and snoopy/cynical journalists.

Didn’t have the intelligence to make the simple but critical changes necessary to make it different enough. Only the most clueless students lack such crucial savvy.

Didn’t have the intelligence to write his own completely original speech given that such speeches are simplicity itself for even the most mundane writer. They consist of nothing more than platitudes and clichés with a generous sprinkling of nationalist/party fervour topped off with a personal quote/opinion from the speaker – job done.


He’s a Democrat mole.

So….well done man.

The pitchforks are coming….unless

Nick Hanauer is an American multi-billionaire who has warned his fellow plutocrats that unless the massive gap between the rich and poor is bridged the pitchforks will be coming to get them.

Hanauer is interesting because he’s a straight talker. He doesn’t try to justify his wealth or his class. He candidly admits that his warning is more about protecting his wealth and that of his fellow billionaires from a pickfork revolution.

His article is worth a read.

Here’s a quote

Any student of history knows that revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand.

That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible for everybody – but especially for us.

Greece: The first country to challenge the rogue capitalists

The people of Greece have brought to reality the worst nightmare of those who run the EU – they’ve opted for democracy.

After years of threats and bullying the Greeks have lost their fear. They have gone back to their ancient roots when democracy was first invented to protect the people from the rich and powerful.

They are the first nation to take on the rogue capitalists who have been poisoning the European ideal of unity, democracy and Enlightenment since Reaganomics and Thatcherism allowed them off the leash in the 1980s.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his government have called the bluff of EU leaders who want to suck the last drop of blood from the Greek people.

I believe the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel and their supporters are shaking in their boots at the prospect of a No vote on Sunday. They know that if Greece is forced out of the Euro or even the EU it will be disastrous for the whole community.

There is no way the credibility of the Euro will survive a Greek exit. If Greece is abandoned in the interests of rogue capitalists the EU will begin to crumble.

And who’s waiting in the wings, rubbing his hands in glee? Putin’s resurgent and increasingly militaristic Russia.

A disunited and bickering Europe will be easy prey for a man like Putin. He’s probably already making plans to pick off country after country as he pursues his ruthlessly ambitious plans for a new Russian empire.

Only a united Europe can protect itself and its people but for unity the rogue capitalists will first have to be removed from power.

Gerry Adams: Speaking the truth about war

How do you orphan ten children, what kind of depravity is that?

This was the question put to Gerry Adams by 60 Minutes presenter Scott Pelley while questioning Adams about the murder of Jean McConville by the Provisional IRA in 1972.

Adams truthfully and accurately replied:

That is what happens in wars.

We only have to take a brief look at Mr. Pelley’s own country to see the truth of that. Thousands of civilians killed (murdered?) by ‘depraved’ drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. Countless thousands ‘murdered’ by ‘depraved’ American citizens in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and most other places of American military involvement.

Here’s just one example of the aftermath of a (depraved?) drone strike.

As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. At least nine civilians died, most of them from one family. There was one survivor, 14-year-old Fahim Qureshi, but with horrific injuries including shrapnel wounds in his stomach, a fractured skull and a lost eye, he was as much a victim as his dead relatives.

At the moment Mr. Pelley was asking Mr. Adams about depravity in conflict his country had numerous armed drones on mission to kill selected targets, in his name, with the likely consequences for innocent civilians.

And in case I’m sounding anti American let me stress that every war is the same, the citizens of every country behave in the same manner in time of war. War is a depraved human activity. No human, no country has a high moral ground from which they can look down in purity and judge others.

What humans should do is acknowledge the reality of their brutal nature and work towards bringing it under control.